FAQ for prospective students
Q. Does the Neuroscience Curriculum provide support for stipends and tuition?
A. Yes. Stipend support (stipend will be $32,500 starting summer 2020) and full tuition is provided to all students working towards the Ph.D. in Neuroscience. Support for entering students is provided by a training grant from the National Institutes of Health, funds from the School of Medicine, and competitive fellowships awarded by the Graduate School.
Q: Does UNC provide health insurance coverage for graduate students?
A: Yes. The Neuroscience Curriculum provides health insurance for all graduate students. Supplemental coverage for dependents is available for a nominal sum.
Q: How long has UNC had a Neuroscience Ph.D. training program?
A: UNC is a pioneer of neuroscience. The Neuroscience Curriculum was established in 1966, making it the second oldest neuroscience training program in the country. It was established by Dr. Edward Perl, who later became the first president of the Society for Neuroscience. Over 60 active research laboratories are presently available to UNC Neuroscience Curriculum graduate students for research apprenticeships and dissertation research projects.
Q: Does the UNC Neuroscience Curriculum have a training grant?
A: The Neuroscience Curriculum has earned training grants from the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) and the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) that have been continuously funded for over 25 years. In 1997 we were recognized as a model training program by the NIH and received the first of the new comprehensive predoctoral neuroscience training grants jointly sponsored by nine NIH institutes.
Q: What is the nature of the Ph.D. degree that the Neuroscience Curriculum confers?
A: UNC offers the Ph.D. degree in Neuroscience, not as a departmentally-associated program, but as an alternative, independent and interdisciplinary degree program.
Q: What is the average time for completion of the Ph.D. in Neuroscience?
A: The average time-to-degree is 5.3 years for UNC Neurobiology Ph.D.s.
Q: How many women are enrolled in your graduate program?
A: Currently 73% of the enrolled Neuroscience Ph.D. students at UNC are women.
Q: What career paths do graduates of the UNC Neuroscience Curriculum take?
A: Our graduates typically go on to excellent postdoctoral research positions in outstanding laboratories in some of the best academic research centers in the U.S. and abroad. Many UNC Neuroscience graduates have advanced to tenure-track faculty positions at research universities including Yale, Vanderbilt, Emory, Minnesota, Connecticut, Penn State, Cornell and Arizona among others. Some graduates have opted for careers in industry, government, and law. Of trainees since 1989, approximately 2/3 are currently in academia (faculty, research faculty, or postdoctoral training).
Q: Do UNC Neuroscience students get to travel to scientific meetings?
A: The Training Grant provides annual funding for trainees to attend national scientific meetings. These are either large professional meetings (e.g. Society for Neuroscience) or smaller specialty meetings (e.g. Gordon Conferences). In addition, we encourage students to investigate specialty courses at Cold Spring Harbor or the Marine Biological Laboratory. Travel funds to present a student’s research at national or international meetings are at the discretion of the student’s advisor.
Q: What is the UNC Neuroscience Center and how does it relate to the training program?
A: The Neuroscience Center’s general mission is to promote and support neuroscience research and to serve as a focal point for the broader neuroscience community at UNC. All Neuroscience Center faculty are members of the Neuroscience Curriculum. The Neuroscience Center supports Core facilities in Confocal and Multiphoton Imaging, Molecular Neuroscience, Bioinformatics, and Translational Neuroscience that are available for use by NBIO students. A number of new neuroscience faculty have been recruited by the Neuroscience Center in the past several years who are now members of NBIO, and participate in Ph.D. training. The Neuroscience Center is housed in the Mary Ellen Jones Building, which was newly remodeled in 2019.